Philippines police, Comelec painting rosy picture of polls – Bayan

May. 15, 2007

MANILA — The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today scored the Commission on Elections and the Philippine National Police for its seeming disregard of the reality of rampant fraud and violence marring the 2007 elections.

The PNP and the Comelec continue to paint a rosy picture of the elections. There is hardly any recognition of the gravity of the problems of violence, disenfranchisement, vote-buying and outright vote manipulation. How can they say that the elections are peaceful when more than 100 have died and the death count is expected to get higher? said Bayan chair Carol Araullo.

Both the PNP and the Comelec have assessed the elections to be relatively peaceful.

Araullo said that the Arroyo government may be desperate to send a positive picture to foreign observers who are by now disillusioned with the so-called democratic process in the Philippines.

This is what sham democracy is all about. Thousands cant vote. And those who can vote are being bribed. We urge other elections watchdogs to be cautious and circumspect before they absolve the Comelec and the Arroyo administration from any liability in the current elections, Araullo warned.

No unity with cheaters

Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. said that Arroyos offer of unity and cooperation will fall on deaf ears.

There can be no unity and cooperation with cheaters. That is the bottom line. Those who cheated or unduly influenced the outcome of the polls using government resources must be made accountable even if this goes all the way up to the president, Reyes said.

Arroyo was quoted as saying For the sake of the country, we should close this chapter of division and fighting after the people have spoken and let us open the door to unity and cooperation.

There are a lot of unresolved issues. The current elections are opening up another can of worms, one that the administration may not be able to easily suppress. The fears of a Garci Part 2 are not totally unfounded, Reyes said.

Bayan has warned of post-election protests given the massive election fraud and violence expected to take place during the voting and counting.

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